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Cincinnati ‘Anchor Dream Team’ Voting Spoiled by Hackers

First Major League Baseball had BALCO, then the Tour de France had Lance Armstrong, now the Cincinnati Enquirer’s “TV Anchor Dream Team Tournament” is in jeopardy because of Internet bots.

John Kiesewetter, the Enquirer’s media writer, told TVSpy between Wednesday at noon and 10:30 a.m. Thursday, more than 105,000 votes were cast in the meteorologist race between Steve Horstmeyer (WXIX) and John Gumm (WKRC). For what it’s worth, according to Nielsen’s 2012-2013 rankings, Cincinnati market has 897,890 households.

A clearly frustrated Kiesewetter wrote the competition would go on despite the hacking, “I never thought that people would abuse the system. I was wrong. We don’t have a way right now to prevent autobot voting. So we’ve decided not to shut down the voting on my blog here, which ends at Thursday noon.”

Autobots or Internet bots are software applications that can run automated tasks, such as online voting, over the internet at a rate faster than humans.

In a salute to college basketball’s March Madness tournament, the competition started with eight male anchors and eight female anchors, eight sports anchors and eight meteorologists ranked from one to eight. Viewers were asked to vote for their favorites. The field is cut by half each round until a single winner is named in each category.

Kiesewetter said Cincinnati anchors have gotten into the swing of the tournament by begging for votes on their facebook pages and on the air. WLWT meteorologist Randi Rico is using her kid in a “Vote 4 My Mom” t-shirt to improve her chances.

He ended his post with a simple question, “Why can’t we play nice???

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